Angel - Peace Out

Summary

Connor asks the beaten Wesley, Gunn, Fred, and Lorne where Angel is. Angel is surrounded by scorpion demons, but they run off when he holds up the key. He turns and sees a building at the top of a mountain.

Connor berates the gang. He says he's going to kill them. He says they talked of saving the world and now someone has done it and they can't stand it. He says they don't belong. They argue, but he won't listen. He goes to kill Wesley, but a commando talks in Jasmine's voice and says to bring them, intact, to her. Angel is climbing the mountain. Jasmine is talking to a group of followers who she tells to join the others in the banquet room when Connor arrives with his prisoners. She says they must be in pain from being separated from her and says she doesn't have the power to take them back. She asks where Angel is. Wesley says she's omniscient, she can tell them. Connor hits him and Jasmine says not to do that. Wesley realizes she recognized the scorpion demon and knows where Angel is. She says the scorpion demon world was a trial run to work out the bugs. Wesley says she must be scared Angel would succeed or she would have killed them. She says Patience. A woman named Patience walks in, she seems to be her assistant. Jasmine says the news people have arrived and to take them to the lobby. She'll speak to them after she's eaten. Wesley realizes that she'll be broadcasting to the world, enslaving everybody. They plead with Connor to stop her. Fred says Cordelia's blood was supposed to help him see her as she truly is. He says he knows what she looks like. We see Jasmine through his eyes and she is the maggoty demon the others see. Jasmine has them taken away. Wesley says they're bargaining chips. Connor wants to ask about this, but Jasmine stops him and says her coming address will be draining for her. She says she'll be out of touch for a while and needs him to be her eyes and ears. To guard the others and deal with Angel. He asks what Angel is looking for and she says the unattainable.

Angel has made it to the temple on top of the mountain. He's confronted by the high priest, guardian of the word. He seems small and not very dangerous. He admits centuries of her absence have caused most to doubt and he's pretty much alone in the temple. Angel tries to ask for her name, but the priest knows that's why he's there. He grabs the priest by the throat. The priest says Angel's already lost everything. The gang are put in the cell Angelus was kept in. Lorne asks Connor if the reason the spell didn't work was that he always saw the true Jasmine. Connor says he was raised in a hell dimension, appearance is not important to him. Fred asks what is. She asks about Cordelia and he says she's been moved. Wesley asks what Jasmine eats. Connor says he doesn't know, but Wesley says she eats people. He implies she has eaten Cordelia.

The priest says he knows all about Angel. We learn the priest doesn't know the name, he is keeper of the keeper of the name. The keeper of the name is much bigger and meaner. The priest says only with his last breath will he divulge the name. Angel confronts him, only to see his mouth has been sewn shut. Connor enters the banquet room where a crowd is undressing. Jasmine realizes he wants to know about Cordelia, but will only tell him she is safe. She realizes he thinks she ate Cordelia and she says she didn't. She asks who gave him the idea and he won't say. She says she couldn't hurt Cordelia or him because as her parents they are her tether to this world. She says she's still on Earth moved to a secure location. Connor asks who moved her. Jasmine says it doesn't matter, that she's safe and under guard as the gang should be. Connor leaves, closing the door as ordered.

Angel is fighting the big demon. The priest says there's no point. He says Angel thinks his friends are dead, so he's not fighting for them. He says he's trying to save his world and the priest says the world doesn't want him. Angel says it needs him. The priest says that's not why he's there. Angel asks why and he says him. Connor. But he's going to lose him, too. Connor walks through the lobby where the media are preparing for the world broadcast. He finds the men who moved Cordelia and asks them where she is. They won't talk so he knocks one out and tells the other to talk or die.

The priest says Connor will never love him, that Connor should never have been born. None of it matters to Angel. The big demon kills the priest in a blow meant for Angel. Fred thinks they are done for. Gunn keeps kicking at the cell door, hoping to break it open. Lorne thinks it's hopeless. Fred thinks it strange Connor has left them unguarded. Wesley wonders why Jasmine moved Cordelia. He says there are no more people like them and they have been on the run. He thinks Cordelia might be able to hurt Jasmine. If they can wake her. Fred says they have to find her first.

Connor comes to a church with a sign extolling Jasmine out front. There are two policemen inside who tell Connor he has to leave. He knocks them both out and finds Cordelia, still comatose, lying at the altar. Jasmine completes a giant feed. Connor talks to Cordelia, saying what she wanted is happening. Then asking if that is what she wanted. He says Jasmine has stopped the world from being harsh and cruel the way Angel liked it so he had a reason to fight. He says the others only found meaning in life from fighting. He says he wants to stop fighting, to rest. He says it's not working. That Jasmine is bringing peace to everyone except him. He says he knows she's a lie and his whole life has been built on them. He says he just thought this one was better than the others.

The press conference is about to begin. The guy Connor threatened tells Jasmine what happened. Jasmine goes to air, with much applause. In the basement, the gang realize what is happening. Jasmine takes questions. The first reporter is too stunned at Jasmine knowing her name to ask anything. The second asks what they can do to show their love for her. She says nothing. Then suggests an awe inspiring temple. At this moment, a portal opens and Angel appears carrying the head of the demon. She orders him killed. He cuts open the demon's mouth and it speaks her name. She's transformed and everyone sees how ugly she is and flees. In the basement, the gang think Jasmine is eating everyone. Gunn finally breaks open the cell door.

An ugly Jasmine is wandering through the chaotic streets. She calls to Connor and he runs out of the church. Angel catches up with her. She says there is no right and wrong, only choices. She says she offered paradise and he chose this chaos instead. He says freedom of choice is their right, it's what makes them human. She asks why he hates her, he points out she eats people. She says so has he. She says she murdered thousands to save billions. He says the price was too high. He tells her she can still work to make the world better, even if she has lost her powers. She says not all of them and hits him, sending him flying.

Jasmine throws a car at Angel. Then goes to attack him. She says she loved the world and sacrificed everything to be with them. He says she wanted to rule them. She says she cared and the other powers didn't. He uses a fallen power line and the shock sends her flying. But she's unharmed. She tells him because of him she'll destroy the world. He says it's not his fault. He tells her to go to hell and she says you first and kisses him. Connor says everytime he gets a girl Angel has to make a play for her. Jasmine turns to Connor. The gang have gone through the hotel and it's empty. Lorne points out the tv stations have gone offline. Gunn finds the demon head and Wesley realizes Angel has returned. He says they have to find him and Cordelia before Jasmine does. They open the door to leave and see something which shocks them.

Jasmine tells Connor Angel has ruined everything but she still has him. She asks if he still believes in her and loves her. He says yes. She turns to Angel and Connor puts his fist through her head. Angel tries to talk to him, but he says nothing and runs away. Angel returns to the hotel, surprised to find the others alive. He tells them what happened. He describes Connor's total lack of emotion. He's worried about him. The gang appear ill at ease and from behind them appears Lilah.

Analysis

Isn't there some way to avoid listing a surprise appearance in the opening credits? Had I not seen them, I wouldn't have been able to guess that the big last minute surprise was the return of Lilah.

I found it interesting Connor lied about not knowing Jasmine ate people. It's one more piece of evidence that while he keeps pretending he believes in her he really doesn't. He knows she's evil, but he just doesn't want that to be the truth. If he really believed in her goodness, he wouldn't have suspected her of eating Cordelia nor would he have been evasive in asking her about it. Which makes one wonder why she refused to tell him where Cordelia was. Was it just a matter of using her power and demonstrating her control over him? Or was Cordelia her insurance against Connor acting up the same way the gang in the cell are her insurance against Angel.

Connor won't directly confront Jasmine. He hints around, asking who moved Cordelia, trying to be subtle in an unsubtle way. He disregards her reassurances and her orders and goes hunting for Cordelia. He threatens to kill the man who moved her. These are not the actions of a man who believes world peace is at hand and Jasmine is truly a saviour. His uncertainty becomes apparent in his conversation with the comatose Cordelia. He asks if what is happening is what she really wanted. He tries to justify Jasmine's actions saying she has eliminated the harshness and cruelty of the world which he links to Angel. He argues that the others only find meaning in fighting and that's why they are fighting Jasmine. He doesn't want to fight, but he can't find peace. Jasmine hasn't been able to give him the peace she has given everyone else.

Connor knows Jasmine is a false god, but he doesn't want to believe that. Hence his unabated rage. He is a champion and he doesn't want to be one. He wants to rest. His nature and his desires are in perpetual conflict. This conflict paralyzes him, both emotionally and physically. He's been incapable of getting over his anger and hatred of Angel and has been stuck in an emotional rut since he came to Earth. As the apocalyptic battle happens, he's physically stuck bemoaning his fate at Cordelia's side. He hasn't fought for or against Jasmine in these final, critical moments. But when she summons him, he comes running. When he arrives at her side, he says he believes in her and loves her and destroys her. He says nothing at all to Angel who is trying to connect with him.

Angel is trying desperately to be a good father, something the demon priest saw but couldn't really understand. He wants his son to love him, but has gotten used to Connor hating him. He saw Connor as confused, as going through a difficult time. But now he's really scared because he sees Connor without feeling. Connor has destroyed Jasmine whom he claimed to love and who was in a sense his daughter. He's abandoned his father Angel. His other father, Holtz, is dead. And the only person he seems to love, Cordelia, is in a coma. He's retreated from the world. It's ironic that Jasmine kept reminding Angel that he wasn't alive, wasn't human, yet he seems to be more of both of those than his son.

Jasmine refers to the other powers, suggesting she really is one of the powers. The analogy to Satan is pretty clear. She's a fallen divinity, believing she has the solution to the world's woes and unwilling to admit she might be wrong. As is so often the case in the Buffyverse, the issue is one of free will. Jasmine sees it as an impediment to a world of peace. Angel sees it as an essential part of the human condition. The irony, as Jasmine at least half recognizes, is that two nonhumans are avidly debating what it is to be human. And the human, or mostly human, Connor seems to have lost all will.

Some quick final thoughts. I loved Patience, Jasmine's assistant. I don't think it was a good idea to have everyone undress before eating. Mostly because in the banquet hall scene everybody actually on camera is at least partially clothed. Since network tv won't deal with nudity, why attempt this scene which just reminds you it is a tv show. If Jasmine was guarding Cordelia from a possible attack by Angel, surely she should have had more than a couple of cops there. This seemed surprisingly sloppy on her part.

Lines of the week:

"So you know appearance. Not that important to me." - Connor on why the magic didn't work.

"It needs me." - Angel on his world.

"So tell me and I'll crush your windpipe." - Connor not really meaning or.

"God is nowhere. Jasmine is the way." - Heretical sign in front of church.

"The way that Angel likes it so that he has a reason to fight." - Connor on the harsh and cruel world.

"I want to rest." - Connor on what he wants.

"I know she's a lie." - Connor finally saying it.

"Working on it." - Angel on being human.

"One body at a time." - How Jasmine plans on making this a better world.

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